Major step towards city boulevard Reyers
Urban.brussels issued a planning certificate to make Boulevard Auguste Reyers a pleasant city boulevard.
Until not so long ago, a colossal bridge for car traffic characterised Boulevard Reyers Reyers. Pascal Smet, then Minister of Mobility, decided in 2015 to have the viaduct demolished and instead create a pleasant city boulevard.
Today, urban.brussels granted a planning certificate to Brussels Mobility for the boulevard’s redevelopment.
“From a city for cars to a city for people. Boulevard Reyers must be the most literal example of this transformation in Brussels. I am truly pleased for having persevered to demolish the viaduct and replace it with a beautiful boulevard with plenty of space for pedestrians, cyclists, public transport and new trees. Today, nobody can imagine that concrete monster that dominated the area. And now let us go further ahead to submit the detailed plans so that the works can start,” said Brussels State Secretary for Urbanism Pascal Smet.
“Boulevard Reyers will be redesigned from facade to facade between Place Meiser and Avenue Lambeau. Its entire length will be equipped with wide pavements in quality materials and separate two-way cycle lanes or cycle streets. A wide grass strip with many new trees will separate them. In the middle, two car lanes will be provided in both directions. In some areas, such as at tunnel entrances and exits, an acceleration lane will be added. Special attention will also go to safe and comfortable crossings for pedestrians and cyclists.”, aldus minister van mobiliteit, openbare werken en verkeersveiligheid Elke Van den Brandt.
Smet decided in 2015 not to undertake the planned renovation works on the viaduct. Instead of an expensive renovation, he had the viaduct demolished in order to transform the entire Boulevard Reyers into a pleasant city boulevard that would reconnect both sides of the boulevard and revitalise the neighbourhood. That plan originally faced a lot of opposition, but today no one can imagine the monstrous viaduct dominating the area. A 2017 VUB study showed that the dreaded traffic chaos did not occur and that traffic pressure in the wider area even decreased. Today, the neighbourhood cannot wait until the stately Boulevard Reyers will be finally transformed into a beautiful city boulevard.
After having the viaduct demolished, Smet commissioned the complete renovation of the tunnels of the nearby Reyers complex and narrowed the tunnels to one lane, which opens up space above ground for public transport, pedestrians, cyclists and trees. Smet then had Reyerslaan temporarily redesigned and, in the meantime, commissioned a major study on the boulevard’s future. This study takes into account several major developments in the immediate surroundings, such as the Mediapark development (including the new buildings of the Flemish and French-speaking public broadcasters VRT and RTBF) and the future redevelopment of the E40 motorway, which was decided in early 2019.
Based on the results of this study, Brussels Mobility, under the supervision of current Minister of Mobility Elke Van den Brandt, started working in close consultation with urban.brussels to shape the future city boulevard.
These plans then were subject to public consultation and the consultation committee issued its advice.
This planning certificate establishes all the substantive principles of the future redevelopment. Brussels Mobility now has to finalise and submit the final detailed plans in order to obtain a building permit and enable the works to start quickly.
Boulevard Reyers will be redesigned from facade to facade between Place Meiser and Avenue Lambeau. Its entire length will be equipped with wide pavements in quality materials and separate two-way cycle lanes or cycle streets. A wide grass strip with many new trees will separate them. In the middle, there will be two car lanes in both directions. In some areas, such as at tunnel entrances and exits, an acceleration lane will be provided. Special attention will also go to safe and comfortable crossings for pedestrians and cyclists.